Press Releases

Rep. Johnson, Sen. Cramer Introduce Bicameral Legislation to Allow Pregnant Mothers to Receive Child Support

WASHINGTON, July 13, 2022 — U.S. Representative Mike Johnson (R-LA) and U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) introduced bicameral legislation, the Unborn Child Support Act, to give mothers the ability to receive child support payments while they are pregnant.

“Life begins at conception, and this bill is a straightforward first step towards updating our federal laws to reflect that fact. We are hopeful that Democrats will join this bicameral effort to provide mothers with child support payments while their child is in the womb,” said Rep. Johnson. 

“Caring for the well-being of our children begins long before a baby is born. It begins at the first moment of life – conception – and fathers have obligations, financial and otherwise, during pregnancy. Mothers should be able to access child support payments as soon as she is supporting a child. Our bill makes this possible,” said Senator Cramer. 

The Unborn Child Support Act allows a court, in consultation with the mother, to award child support payments while the child is still in the womb and retroactively up to the point of conception as determined by a physician. It also:

  • Provides flexibility for mothers who do not want involvement of the father by not requiring those mothers to receive child support.
  • Requires judges to consult with mothers on payment plans and gives mothers discretion as to whether or not child support payments will be awarded retroactively.
  • Mandates that all paternity tests be at the discretion of the mother and not be conducted if the test would put the child at risk.

Joining Senator Cramer and Representative Johnson are Senators Steve Daines (R-MT), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Rick Scott (R-FL), Roger Marshall (R-KS), James Lankford (R-OK), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Representatives Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Jim Banks (R-IN), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), John Moolenaar (R-MI), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Randy Weber (R-TX), Garret Graves (R-LA), Jake Ellzey (R-TX), Randy Feenstra (R-IA), and Claudia Tenney (R-NY).

A recent poll from the Bucknell Institute for Public Policy shows popular support for child support payments to begin at conception.  

The Unborn Child Support Act is supported by the Susan B. Anthony List, March for Life, Family Research Council, and Concerned Women for America. 

“In the new Dobbs era, our policies should reflect the science that life begins at conception and the reality that women and families start making plans well before the birth of a child. From the moment a woman learns she is pregnant, throughout her pregnancy, and after a child is born, she should receive the support she needs to care for herself and baby,” said Hon. Marilyn Musgrave, SBA Pro-Life America’s Vice President of Government Affairs. “We thank Senator Cramer, Congressman Johnson and their colleagues for recognizing the critical, life-saving difference a father’s support makes and calling men to greater responsibility in helping moms choose life for their children.”

“We know that children do best when they are cared for and supported by both their mother and father, and this care must begin in the womb. Ensuring that mothers have the ability to receive financial support for their unborn children rightly restores the duty of fathers to provide for their children from the moment their child’s life begins. We are thankful to Representative Johnson and Senator Cramer for introducing the Unborn Child Support Act, to ensure that mothers and their unborn children receive the care and support that they need,” said Connor Semelsberger, Director of Federal Affairs for Life and Human Dignity, Family Research Council.

“At Concerned Women for America, we believe that life begins at conception and are proud to support the Unborn Child Support Act. This legislation recognizes the sanctity of human life and encourages mothers to choose life by allowing women to receive child support while pregnant. We must continue to fight to protect the dignity of every human being and ensure that we support mothers in the process,” said Penny Nance, CEO and President, Concerned Women for America.

Click here for bill text.